Day Three of Our Columnist Auditions
This is the grand finale. This is what it’s all about. This is why you clock in early and leave late.
This is your 8 Mile Moment.
Our final four have one last chance to dazzle you.
There’s nothing left for me to say: leave your feedback at the end of the column in the comments section…or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RANDOM THOUGHTS BY ANDREW AHR
FOUR OUT OF FOUR
NOT BAD FOR A BASEBALL STAT SHEET
BUT SUCKS IN A COMPETITION
by: Andrew Ahr
From the Metro Desk: News and Notes
When was the last time you were on Craigslist to look for a new job? Since I am currently unemployed, I am on Craigslist throughout the day looking for a job, any job that I believe I am suitable for. In a little over a month’s time I have submitted over 40 resumes to places that are posting on Craigslist for jobs that I am qualified for and fit my work history. That is in addition to all of the other jobs that I have applied for by just walking in and asking for an application. In case you are wondering I am, or at least I used to be, in the Restaurant Management field. Craigslist really isn’t my beef in this diatribe, it’s the people who say they are looking to hire, but really aren’t.
At first I started looking for, and applying to, positions that I really wanted, paid well, were close to where I live, and offered a good chance for advancement or promotion. Then as time went by I lowered my standards a bit. I branched out to places further away from my home, were not offering the salary I was looking for and were not ideal compared to where I have worked in the past. Then comes the point when you realize that any job will do, just something that will pay the bills and keep you busy. Forget pride, forget you are overqualified, and forget you never thought you would be working there at the age of 40.
I wouldn’t say it has been all bad. Last year I was hired by a national restaurant & bar company to open and manage a new location here in the St. Louis area. The requirement was that I complete a six week Management Training program in one of their two already opened establishments and then work in one of the two until the new location was ready to be opened. The only problem is that after two weeks in training I started hearing rumors that the new location was not going to happen. I finally found out during week five of six of training that it was in fact true. There would be no new opening and I had the option to either move to Kansas City and open the new restaurant there or leave. I chose to stay in St. Louis. Since then I have been working on a Freelance basis for local convention and event companies along with catering companies.
Look these things happen. There are a lot of people other than myself that are looking work full time work. A lot of times when applying or sending a resume I hear back that I am over qualified, of course that is if I hear back at all.
What gets me about the Craigslist ads is that more often than not the companies that are posting never include the following: business name, location, and salary or wage. I have replied to a countless number of these generic postings and have gotten few replies. Even those that do tell you who they are and where they are located never hire anyone. Just like clockwork on a monthly basis they post a new ad looking for staff and management. I actually talked to a person that works for one of these places that is constantly looking to hire. She told me that she does not know why they keep positing ads since they have not needed a new manager in any of their locations in the St. Louis area in over six months. She believes the company she works for is just doing it to see who is out there and they want to keep their staff on their toes by making it known there is always someone looking for the job that they have.
At least some relief from wasting time is coming to Craigslist. A couple of weeks ago Craigslist notified job seekers that they are working on a new program where generic and anonymous postings will be deleted. If a company posting a job ad does not disclose certain basic information and their posting is essentially a fishing expedition their post will be taken off. This is good, but what would be better would be actually having a job, a job I enjoyed and was proud to have. Until then I will still be checking out what is available out there and hopefully sometime soon I won’t need to check out Craigslist ever again.
By: Chris Reed
--The St. Louis Cardinals return to Busch Stadium after a 6-3 road trip to face the team directly ahead of them in the NL Central standings, the Pittsburgh Pirates. As hard as it is to keep a straight face while typing that, this is a pretty big series for the Cards. If they can take advantage of the Pirates’ anemic offense—the Buccos rank 15th in the National League in both team batting average and team OPS—winning two of three should not be difficult. Plus the Cardinals have a bit of luck on their side, because they miss AJ Burnett’s turn in the rotation. His victory over the Philadelphia Phillies marked eight wins in a row for Burnett, who is 9-2 with a 3.31 ERA on the season. He isn’t Greg Maddux, but Burnett is obviously trending up so no thanks. And with the Cincinnati Reds in San Francisco for four, it may be a great time for the Cards to make a move back towards first place.
--Hey, guess what…it’s hot outside. But one of my neighbors is getting his roof replaced; they did tear-off Thursday morning and are doing the rest Friday, splitting it up to avoid the heat of the afternoon. How would you like that job this week? Christ….enjoy your sneak peek at Hell, gentlemen.
--Elsewhere in baseball, the LA Angels opened a four game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto Thursday evening. Apparently Albert Pujols had two doubles over the head of Colby Rasmus in the game, and at least one was due to Rasmus taking a bad route to the ball (according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports). It may be completely impossible to describe how I feel about that information. I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, punch myself in the face, or go back and watch comforting highlights from the 2011 postseason.
--After a couple of cryptic messages on Twitter, reputable news outlets confirmed the Tin Can location downtown on Locust is closing its doors for good this weekend. This takes the local institution back down to just one location, the original Tin Can Tavern and Grill on Morganford. And from the quote on STLtoday.com, things don’t sound like they’re going really well at that spot, either. What a bummer for St. Louis. Not only was the Locust location just about the cheapest place to get a beer downtown, now the entire franchise may vanish altogether. Where are we going to go for cans of true classics like Stroh’s or Olympia or Hamm’s…grandpa’s fridge, circa 1980? Now I may be relegated to choking back a Pabst Blue Ribbon when I’m in St. Louis and not in the mood for Bud products. God forbid I actually find a delicious Stag anywhere west of the Mississippi River.
--This just in: I like cheap beer.
--The NBA Draft kicked off Thursday, and…nobody cares. Actually, that’s not 100% true…it is great to see local product Brad Beal go third overall in the draft. Anytime someone from the St. Louis area makes a big splash like that in the pros, it kind of feels like we all win. And congratulations are in order for Meyers Leonard (11th overall) from the Fighting Illini and Mizzou alums Kim English (44th overall) and Marcus Denmon (59th overall) for their strong draft showings. OK, now I’m done caring. The NBA sucks.
--I’m thinking of grilling out this weekend; should I bother buying charcoal or can I just throw pork steaks directly onto the hood of my car to cook them?
--Also kicking off this week is the nationwide “Summerland Tour,” which will make a stop at the horribly-named St. Charles Family Arena on August 7. Get a load of this lineup: Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, and Marcy Playground. That seems like a lot of set changes for the seven or eight songs the audience will actually recognize. I wouldn’t walk into the next room to see any of those bands. What a shit sandwich of a show.
--Finally, much thanks to all who read my entries and the entries of the other finalists and commented via various outlets this week. I know I always enjoy the feedback, whether good, bad, or indifferent. And with oppressive heat like this, don’t forget to check on your elderly pets…or something.
Writing on Writing
Day-3 and it’s time to separate the pricks from the pee-pee’s, the dicks from the danglers and the men from the boys.
Writing is an art. That’s right dammit; I said it, “an art”. If some hipster douche bag can throw shit on a canvas or some protesting fuckwad can burn a flag and call it “art”, ANY writing can be labeled the same. Just like music, film, painting or poetry, writing is subjective, widely defined and, in the right circumstance or niche, can be supremely rewarding to both reader and writer.
InsideSTL is my niche, the niche of speaking the way people speak. It’s the niche of dick jokes and crude sexual innuendo that, contrary to the belief of some, is a part of our daily lives. I make no excuses for being the “every-man”, my KMFP-eople. There’s something out there for everybody. Somebody paid Toby Keith to write that fucking “Solo Cup” song, people have been drooling over da Vinci’s shitty, overrated “Mona Lisa” for years and women everywhere are flicking their bean or riding the removable showerhead right this second to a book that’s no better written than the Penthouse Forum.
There’s an audience out there for everybody. Anybody with a pen, paper, keyboard or ball of shit rolled up in toilet paper and the bathroom wall to smear it on can perform the “art” of writing. Again, it’s part of the beauty. The husband who pens a “roses are red” rip-off on his wife’s birthday card is a writer. The facebook poster opining on political issues is a writer. And the basement-dwelling, 30-year old who feigns toughness, confidence and attractiveness while tearing down anything anybody else writes from behind a dusty monitor in a soiled pair of 3-day skivvies is a writer, albeit, a pathetic one.
A beautiful writer is another story. A beautiful writer “can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking Jack and Coke all morning. They can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man – promise. Promise of a better day. Promise of a greater hope. Promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful writer. In their smile, in their soul, the way they make every rotten little thing about life seem like it’s going to be okay”.
And a beautiful writer can hijack that entire fucking paragraph from the movie “Beautiful Girls” with the majority of you out there none the wiser until they admit it. Because the great writer’s mind will roam at the drop of a hat and keep you on edge, wondering where the hell it’ll be going next. While often a curse at the office or when desperately seeking those precious 3-hours of sleep, their mind is a wandering nomad of ideas and absolutely grand potential when harnessed correctly and finally finding the right outlet. A wandering mind is never short of opinions or topics, which is the hardest thing about writing. I could write 13-of these a day, if I had the time to do so and, I shit you not, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.
This is child’s play to me. My otherwise frightening mind is teeming with constant activity, delusion and grand expectations. Writing has been my freedom from things that have driven weaker men to very dark places of the world and the other end of a rope or revolver. Writing, for me, has saved many a coworker, commuter and neighbor from me. And, most importantly, it’s saved me from me.
Writing is my world and the rest of you just play in it. A great writer not only plays to their audience, but delivers their audience, if only for 10-goddamned minutes, from the rut of an office, houseful of screaming kids or bottom of the liquor bottle, to a place far, far away. It can be the breathtaking scene of a land you’ll never physically see or the broken glass, and broken dreams, of a heroin den in the darkest parts of your own city, just miles up the road, but you’re there and I’ve taken you there.
I could write you a poem that made you think I was the most romantic man on this planet and that any woman graced by my presence was pampered with attention, gifts and admiration. I could write you a “dyed in the wool” recap of the latest sporting event that took place so detailed that you could recount it to your coworker and lie to say you’d actually been there, like approximately 750-thousand people did after Game-6 of the World Series. And then, I could turn around and write you the most vile and blasphemous piece of hateful shit you’d ever laid your eyes on, and were embarrassed to have even done so, that would have you appalled at the revelation that I actually raise and coach children.
In the hands of a great writer, the adult mind becomes that of a child, going in whichever direction we decide to pull it. Great writing is power. Great writing is mimicry, pageantry and, most frequently, fear. Fear of the unknown, the untested and the unrealized. Fear of failure and fear of rejection.
I’m a great fucking writer. Get over the insecurity I’ve hidden with arrogance and admit you were moved by one little iota of what you’ve just read and you’ll realize it’s the truth. It’s the truth to me and those who’ve followed me, and that’s true enough.
Make no mistake, there are other writers on here who have a lot of talent, but compare yesterday’s columns with day one’s, and you tell me whose style some shifted to emulate when they felt the proverbial gauntlet had been thrown down. Each one of the other 3-writers has an audience somewhere, and 2-1/2 of them have the talent to go along with it. But insideSTL is my GD-audience and I’m sorry to be the one to break that news to them.
“You issue a challenge, yeah, you do it up; step to the stage – too late, I blew it up.”…KMFP-out!
Driving Wouldn’t Be So Bad If Paying Attention Didn’t Get In The Way
By Andy Portico
Earlier this week in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported that fatalities on the state’s roads has gone up by 62 over the number who died at this time last year. “Traffic crash reports indicate over two-thirds of those fatalities involved people who were not wearing a seat belt,” MHP said in a release about the statistics. “A common theme of the contributing circumstances is failure to remain in the proper lane, which includes crossing over the center line and running off the right side of the road.” I would like to add a personal quote of mine if I may. “Another common theme of the contributing circumstances is failure to refrain from behaving like a dipshit the minute a driver grips the wheel of their vehicle.”
Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised by these statistics. In the April issue of Men’s Health, St. Louis was ranked dead last out of 100 cities for being the worst drivers in the country. I drive the roads every weekday morning and every weekday afternoon and it’s a miracle that I make it to work and home in one piece. I like to call it vehicle Frogger. It seems that the locals ingest bath salts between the hours of 7 and 9 am and then again between the hours of 3 and 6pm. I could write a thesis here, but instead I will just give you some examples of the mindless idiots who are giving prison love to our roads on a daily basis in no particular order.
#1. The Driver Who Has Their Hands On Everything But The Wheel: These are the people who seem to be preoccupied with everything else but actually driving their vehicle. Poor bastards have to worry about calling their lawyer to get a final will and testament ready because some guy in a Prius is too busy trying to build a Lego play set of DB’s Delight.
#2. The Ass Rider: These are the people that are so close to your back bumper, you debate whether or not they are going to whisper sweet nothings into your ear while reciting Shakespeare. Please forgive me for not getting the press release that the St. Louis chapter of The Knights Of The Tailgating Assclowns was holding their meeting on northbound 270. By all means gentlemen, let me be the last person to interrupt your meeting. Please, continue.
#3. The 93 Year Old Man Holding On For Dear Life: Now that Matlock and Murder, She Wrote is over for the day on WGN, Grandpa Joe is going to head to the bank doing 10 in a 40 to crap in his safe deposit box because he thinks his Cadillac is a motorized wheelchair and he thinks the safe box is a toilet. After he is done, he informs the bank employees that he wants to put his vintage bottle of Vess orange soda in a revocable trust so “the damn state doesn’t get my shit.”
#4. The Turn Signal Non Conformists: This is the dicknose who believes you are a mind reader and can anticipate when he is going to make the sudden turn from a main road into a subdivision. He has time to bury his finger up his nose while looking for YouTube videos on his iPhone because he wants to pleasure himself to the opening credits of Blossom.
#5. The Guy Who Doesn’t Get the 4 Way Stop Sign Intersection: This is usually an older aged gentleman who thinks because he stopped 50 feet short of the stop sign, that gives him the right of way by the time he actually gets to the stop sign. This is the old decrepit jackass who walks into McDonald’s for breakfast looking for the free newspaper that someone left so he can go into the toilet and read it.
Is there a solution to getting St. Louis out of the cellar when it comes to bad driving? Other than pulling a Larry Conners and tasering the piss out of them, there’s not much you can do. In the meantime St. Louis, revel in the fact that we are the Chicago Cubs of operating motor vehicles. Hopefully it won’t take us 104 years to stop being losers on the road like they are on the field.
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